When You Need Emergency Medical Care
The American medical industry is truly vast, and it encompasses more than hospitals and emergency rooms. Many hundreds of urgent care clinics and walk in clinics can be found across the United States today, not to mention emergency care clinics and 24 hour emergency care sites, too. Yet other clinics are a hybrid model, offering both urgent and emergency care. When a victim gets injured, falls ill, or suffers some other medical condition, a nearby responsible adult should know where to find emergency services, and they may enter an online query such as “24 hour emergency clinics near me.” That person may specify “24 hour emergency clinics near me” in particular because some clinics have limited hours of operation, and a victim may need care at an odd time of day. So, a localized search such as “24 hour emergency clinics near me Boston MA” or “24 hour emergency clinics near me Seattle WA” can narrow it down, and entering a ZIP code with “24 hour emergency clinics near me” can narrow it down further. The seeker may then find directions to a nearby clinic, along with its name and other information.
Why Americans Might Need Emergency Care
It may be noted that urgent and emergency care are two different things, and emergency care in particular handles cases where the patient’s life may be in danger. In short, the most serious medical cases are for emergency care, such as a hospital’s ER or a specialized clinic. These cases are too serious for a walk in clinic, but the doctors and physicians at an emergency care site will be able to get a patient out of critical condition and stabilize them.
What requires a trip to emergency services, such as a hospital’s ER? Difficulty breathing, serious chest pain, or acute abdominal pain may become life-threatening at any moment, if they aren’t already, and they can come from a variety of causes. A person’s appendix may burst, or they have suffered a rupture in an internal organ. Abdominal pain is a broad concept, and in most cases, the patient only needs urgent care or may even just wait for the pain to pass. This may be the case for indigestion or temporary gas. But sudden, strong, or long-lasting pain calls for emergency care. Heart attacks and strokes also call for this level of care.
Major trauma or injuries also require emergency care. A patient may have suffered a broken arm or leg, or perhaps they suffered an injury to the head or their eyeballs. Stab wounds or bullet wounds may cause heavy bleeding and organ damage, and a broken rib might puncture the lungs.
Not all medical cases call for the emergency room, however. It should not be treated as a catch-all for every medical case, as many medical cases are minor enough to only require urgent care instead. Besides that, it is unnecessarily expensive and stressful to visit the ER when the patient only needs urgent care attention.
Urgent Care and Hybrid Clinics
Urgent care covers most cases that are not serious enough for emergency care, and this makes it a broad concept. What is more, some clinics today are hybrid models, meaning that they offer both urgent and emergency care services side by side. This is helpful when it is unclear what level of care a patient needs.
Urgent care clinics and walk in clinics can be found across the United States, and most are small and independent facilities staffed with nurse practitioners and physicians. Many such clinics are built into strip malls for easy access and parking, and others are built into retailers, known as retail clinics. At such a clinic, a patient might expect a much shorter and less expensive visit than going to the ER.
Non life-threatening cases such as a bad rash or sunburn can be treated at these clinics, and the staff will offer lotion and ointment. Guests may also get medicinal relief from the cold and flu during influenza season, and most such care clinics also offer bone fracture treatment as well as wrist and ankle sprain treatments. Urgent care clinics tend to have pharmacies in them as well, so patients can visit to get prescription drug refills. This is common in retail clinics, for example.